Published by HarperTeen on March 24, 2015
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, YA
Source: ARC borrowed thru Around the World ARC Tours, Read in 2014
It all starts with one little lie…
Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell lies to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts a business providing forged permission slips and cover stories for the students of Vista Palisades High. Liars, Inc. they call it. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?
When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.
Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called "Captivating to the very end," Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.
~ I’m going to give this book a pretty high compliment- it reminded me a lot of old school Christopher Pike. Like a Fall Into Darkness or a Gimme a Kiss.
~ The book starts off with Max being confronted by two FBI agents who seem to think he killed his friend Preston, who is missing. Max pulls a gun on them, and I am all like, wtf? Because right away there’s a moment where the agents would have a clear shot of Max, so I had a little trouble believing that they would let him go all Harrison Ford in The Fugitive on them, but I just went with it. Which I’m glad I did.
~ The timeline jumps backwards to six weeks ago and the forming of Liars, Inc- basically Max, along with Preston and Parvati, sell alibis to other high schoolers. Unlike rich Preston and Parvati, Max is fairly middle class.
~ I loved reading about Max’s background- how he lived on the streets, and how he was finally adopted by his wonderful family. It’s nice to see adoptive parents (especially those that adopt through foster care) not portrayed by abusive jackasses. Plus, I love his sister, Amanda, and the baby twins, Ji Hyun and Jo Lee. Plus, Amanda loves detective shows, so I totally want to adopt her.
~ I don’t want to talk too much about the plot, because it’s a mystery and I don’t want to give anything away. I will say that I figured some things out right away, but I was wrong about others, and surprised even more by the mysteries I had only half figured out right. I loved how much this book made me wonder what the hell was going on, and it made for a page turner. Not that it’s confusing, just mysterious.
~ Parvati’s character kind of had me all over the place- one minute I disliked her, and the next I was super impressed by her. I have to say that she’s a very unique YA character, complex and unexpected, and I dug that a lot. Early in my notes, before I knew what was going on, I wrote “Parvati might be bad, but she’s also kind of bad ass”. And I stick by that observation.
~ It’s hard not to feel stressed for Max during different times in the book, he was easy to root for, even when he made Horror Movie quality mistakes.
~ I’m totally starting my own Liar’s, Inc. business, so if you need an alibi or a handwritten note excusing you from work so you can hit the bookstore or library instead, just message me. 😉
~ I did have one eye-rolling moment, because the book gets a little stereotypical with one character, and it seems so far fetched… but in the end, I still really liked the book. It was incredibly fun and thrilling to read, so I can excuse the few bumps.
Max- our hero, set up for a suspected murder and desperate to prove his innocence. Some things in his past, however, make him look bad.
Parvati- Max’s secret girlfriend (because her parents can’t stand him) and long time friend of Preston.
Preston- Max’s only read friend, rich, popular, likes football and gambling and making videos.
Agent McGhee- nice cop FBI dude.
Agent Gonzalez- bad cop FBI dude.
Colonel Amos- Parvati’s scary father.
Cassie- Max’s first unofficial Liars, Inc customer.
Violet- Preston’s mysterious online Vegas girl.
Jasper, Jared, and Jonas Jacobson- surfer brothers and dudes you don’t want to mess with.
Kathleen- Max’s court appointed lawyer. She has a FANTASTIC name. 🙂
Senator DeWitt- Preston’s father, which is why the FBI get involved so quickly into Preston’s disappearance.
Langston and Marcus- they work for the senator, plus I really like the name Langston.
The motive behind Max’s set up.
Stop the Clock:
Liars, Inc makes for a great read- it’s really fast paced and intense, and it surprised me, which isn’t always easy because I read a lot of thrillers. Definitely worth reading!
Liars, Inc gets a Midnight Book rating of: